Thursday, 19 May 2016

Dr John Blakley of Crookes and his 1934 Trial for Murder - An Update

Many years ago one of the first articles I posted to tthe site was "Dr John Blakley of Crookes and his 1934 Trial for Murder". I came across the incident in a book by Robert Hancock

As I said at the time, "on the face of it this is just a small provincial drama that in most cases would have been forgotten in the mists of time. The reason why it was not forgotten lies in the life (and death) of Dr Blakely's youngest son David. David Blakely was shot and murdered outside the Magdala pub in Hampstead, London on Easter Sunday 1955. The person who pulled the trigger was Ruth Ellis who was hung for the murder  - the last woman to be hanged in England.

Yesterday I was asked to appear on BBC Radio Sheffield and talk about the 1934 court case and its ramifications.  I appeared on Rony Robinson's show this morning Thursday 19th May 2016 and thoroughly enjoyed talking about the 1934 case and its aftermath. For those who want to listen to the interview it is on the BBC Player for a month. It is about 66 mins into the programme after the 11 o'clock news.

I had not looked at the article for a couple of years and so after correcting a broken link or two, I realised that I did not know what became of Dr Blakely after the trial apart from being divorced from his wife in 1940.

Thankfully I was able to access the National Probate Index and found the following entry

Dr Blakely still lived in Crookes at the same address 203 School Road that he did when he started nearly 40 years earlier. He was 67 of age at the time of his death and left just shy of £29,000 in his estate. This is about £600,000 in today's money.

And whilst I was searching the Index I looked up the estate of his errant younger son David Blakely who was murdered by Ruth Ellis just over three years later. Probate was granted to his mother who divorced Dr Blakely in 1940 on the grounds of his (continuing?) adultery. She remarried the following year.  

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